North County ends 36-game skid, 76-60

January 13, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

The game was there for the taking, but so were a lot of others that North County let slip away during a losing streak that spanned three years. Why would this night be any different?

Because, as Severna Park coach Wayne Mook said, with another game on the line and a gym full of people awaiting the next disaster, North County learned how to "play to win, instead of playing not to lose."

Junior forward Teon Carter led all scorers with 27 points, and the Knights won for the first time after 36 straight defeats, 76-60, over visiting Severna Park last night.

North County (1-10) took the lead it would never relinquish, 52-50, on a tip in by Carter with a little more than three minutes left in the third quarter.

When Severna Park (4-5) missed two shots and put North County's Lou Brown on the line with the score 70-58 and 46 seconds remaining, many fans began their celebration.

"You feel like the weight is off your shoulders," said coach Brad Wilson, whose team has lost twice by six points and once each by three and two points this season.

"What do you say? How do you describe it? It's better than great."

Last month, the Knights trailed Severna Park by one point midway through the fourth quarter in the Bob Pascal Holiday Tournament, before the Falcons pulled away, 64-55.

"Once we saw that we could hang close with them [in the tournament], tonight was the night. It gave the team a lot of confidence," said Carter, whose 18 first-half points included a pair of rim-shaking dunks.

Mook, whose team was without leading rebounder Ron Green because of a back injury, said, "They're going to get more wins before this year is over, I guarantee that."

A three-pointer from Bakari Ward gave the Falcons a 25-24 lead with four minutes left in the second quarter. The Knights' Kevin Mitchell made two free throws to put his team back in front, and the hosts closed the half with a 42-38 lead.

The score was tied twice in the third quarter before the Knights went on an 11-2 run to lead 61-52. Wilson kept checking the clock and running his fingers through his hair during the last quarter, but the closest Severna Park got was 66-58.

"It was good to see the kids play four quarters of good basketball," Wilson said. "I thought [Monday] night, we had our best practice of the year, and it carried over to tonight."

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